By now, I am sure you have heard all about the drought in California, thanks to the internet sensation, the Ice Bucket Challenge. This viral awareness campaign is a kind of “tag, you’re it” game of nominating someone to dump a bucket of ice water over their head and hopefully, donate to ALSA to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Not only has the Ice Bucket Challenge raised 41 million from 739,000 new donors, meaning raising awareness of the deadly disease, but it has brought a lot of attention to the drought here in California as people have been criticizing the wastefulness of water during the challenge.
Imagine if we put this much effort into raising awareness and action towards the drought? A popular hashtag on social media now is #droughtshaming, used to call out people with wasteful irrigation, car washing and other water wasting, but so far, the Ice Bucket Challenge has created more conversation around the drought than anything else we have seen.
Looks like the Ice Bucket Challenge is doing MORE to raise awareness about the drought than it is contributing to it. Lets take a look at some of the biggest water wasting habits of our culture and how we can cut down our water use.
1. Switch household appliances like shower heads, toilets, washers over to water saving appliances. It will save you money in water as well as cut back a lot of unnecessary waste. http://www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ConserveWater.htm#waterefficient
2. “If its yellow, let it mellow.” I think we all know the rest of that one… The average toilet flushes 1.6 gal / 6 liters per flush. That means one person can consume as much as 10 gal / 39 liters* per day, or 3,760 gal /14,234 liters per year. You could easily save 5 gallons of water a DAY by alternating flushes! http://www.myblueearth.org/environment/water/biggest-daily-waste/ Lets see more yellow in the toilet and not on our map!
3. Choose climate-appropriate, drought-tolerant, and native/adapted plant species. The typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainwater each year. Using native plants and landscape designs that optimize local conditions can reduce irrigation water use, as well as reduce soil erosion, lower maintenance costs, and preserve natural resources. Besides, they are really pretty and colorful vs. difficult, plain lawn.
4. Use Be Green Packaging! Be Green recycles almost all of its water from production so there is really only a very small fraction lost in evaporation. Because Be Green Packaging is made from plant fibers, not trees, it takes a lot less water to turn them into pulp and they are sustainable so we are protecting forests as well while providing you with a quality, durable, all natural compostable product.
To learn more about the Ice Bucket Challenge, and what ALS is and what it's like to live with it, read this article: http://www.bostern.com/blog/2014/08/15/what-an-als-family-really-thinks-about-the-ice-bucket-challenge/